The sun shines. In the city square a fool dances alone, pirouetting to the melody of a tune none can see.
Walkers pass him by on all sides, strolling mutely through yet another day. Some turn their eyes away from the man and pretend not to see. Others glance sideways and deride him in silent murmurings. The younger ones giggle and laugh at the madness in display. And all walk on, leaving the fool to his solitary dance.
The square hums with the innumerous comings and goings of the citizenry. The birds sing and the trees laugh, but few pay heed to their songs — for, here and today, there is no time for tomfoolery. Big decisions await to be had. The important people must get to their very vital and urgent affairs.
Carrying their sleek briefcases, they speak into their devices and glance at their watches. Tick tock, tick tock! — the clock bickers. They scoff at the fool but then walk on more quickly, for lunch break has been over for a few minutes already.
And the square, the trees, the fountain, and the bees look upon it all and laugh — albeit not without a note of pain. The scene is certainly comical, yes, but tragically so; for these confused beings walk the dictates of a tempo they do not see and think they have chosen to do so.
And though this is oh so heartbreaking, awful, terrible, and dreadful, it keeps the square from the joys of the day not. For the sun still shines and the madman dances along — and the kingdom, by tragedy, is not touched.
The fool pays no heed to the great drama around him.
His arms spread out wide and the ecstasy of the sun radiates in his smile. He jumps and twirls, pirouetting in opulent extravagance. Fabrics of vibrant color wrap around his body and dazzle with light. The fool is here and he is not — for the bliss that enfolds him is not of this world and he is lost in its unspeakable delights.
No thought crosses the fool’s mind. No war, no struggle, rages inside— no doubt, no fear, no self-loathing, no confusion; for all these things he has surrendered unto the light. He is become only movement — a pure, unbounded, expression of the day. The universal breath speaks and sings through him and together, as one, they dance away.
A little girl and her mother pass by. The fool skips and turns and in a masterful motion tickles the girl’s nose. He smiles and she laughs — the mother frowns in disgust and pulls her daughter in closer. They walk on.
The small girl glances back over and the fool winks. She giggles to herself. He smiles and returns to his stage.
And on and on, countless a soul walks by — and the madman dances, nowhere to go, no time to be had. And to everyone that passes, he curtsies and bows; for he is the jester and, though they know it not, all these are his kings and queens.
Before long, however, bickers and venomous whispers have spread throughout the place — complaints have reached the local authorities. It seems that some around this land can’t stand being treated like royalty.
And as the madman dances and jumps and makes a fool of himself, a big and tough man makes his way across the square. In bulky uniform, he stands out like a sore thumb, a broken string in this song so fair.
The man is painfully overdressed for such a sunny day — beads of sweat roll down his forehead. He fixes the badge on his chest, making sure that it is well seen by all and notices not what a fool of himself he makes.
The big scary man walks up to the periphery of the dance and puffs up his chest, clears his throat. With a brisk word from the depths of his trunk, he commands this no-good dilettante nonsense to come to a halt. The fool is turned the other way — but the voice shatters the fragility of his dance like a brick.
He turns around.
Surprise spreads across the fool's face — how embarrassed he is, not to have noticed the presence of this highest and most respectable officer of the supreme law! Quickly regaining his manners, the fool twirls his arm before him and bows, lower than he has bowed all day. His forehead touches the floor.
The officer looks down at him with disgust and spits on the floor. Behind closed teeth, he murmurs — beat it — and nods the fool to move it along.
The trees and the birds watch on and scorn the whole thing — but the fool is affected not. He looks up at the man straight in the eye and a great grin spreads across his face. The officer cannot stand it and looks away, jesting only with his baton for him to get on his way.
The fool stands. He waves his hand and gives one final curtsy and bow, thanking the applause come from the leaves, the bees, and the clouds. He picks up the few things he owns and with these in hand, he walks away.
The officer stands firmly in his place as he watches the filth go. He is proud of himself, for to this most a respectable land, order has been restored.
Shining cloths and trashbag in arm, the fool leaves the square, his stage for the day. The place bids him farewell, sad to see him go.
He crosses the street.
On yonder is a corner, naught but a piece of sidewalk; in between buildings, the sun casts there a sliver of light.
The fool walks up with utmost delicacy and lays his things on the ground. He stretches, bows to the sun, and resumes the dance.